He is called the man of the masses, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who served as the Prime Minister of India for three terms, is undoubtedly a man of remarkable stature. Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday is celebrated as Good Governance day. Apart from being a politician, he was also an acclaimed writer who has written various poems.
He was an aerospace scientist and also played an instrumental role in the May 1998 PokhranII nuclear tests.His involvement in Nuclear Power in India earned him the title Missile Man of India. He was an inspiration to all of us, From a Paper Boy, he became the Missile Man and the Countries First Person. As an aerospace scientist, Kalam worked with Indias two major research organisations Defence Research and Development Organisation DRDO and Indian Space Research Organisation ISRO.
Rajiv Gandhi was born in one of the most prominent political families of India. He became the third generation in his family to become the Prime Minister of India after his maternal grandfather, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and mother Smt. Indira Gandhi. He became the youngest Prime Minister of India at the age of 40. The developmental projects launched by him included the overhaul of national education policy and major expansion of the telecom sector.
Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata was a visionary leader who oversaw the dramatic expansion of the Tata Group and the industrialisation of India. He aimed to build a selfreliant, selfsufficient, selfenabled, and selfmade India, something he achieved during his mammoth career at the helm of the Tata Group. JRD is known as the father of Indian civil aviation. An aviator, industrialist, and a man of high moral values, JRD’s contribution to the making of India is remarkable. He was Indias first licenced pilot, who founded Air India.
As one of the alltime great film directors, Satyajit Ray was arguably one of the most versatile creative geniuses of Bengal, if not India, in modern times. Apart from being a legendary director, Ray was an excellent writer, illustrator, graphic designer, calligrapher, set designer, music composer and a firm film critic. One of the finest works by Ray was the Apu Trilogy and aided in driving Indian cinema into the global scenario.
C.V. Raman is one of the most renowned scientists produced by India. For his pioneering work on scattering of light, C.V. Raman won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930. National Science Day is observed on February 28 in India, to commemorate the discovery of the Raman Effect.
Mother Teresa was a nun, a missionary, and founder of the Order of Missionaries of Charity, who dedicated her life to serving the poor. She dedicated her life in the service of the poor, ailing and the destitute through the Missionaries of Charities, an order of Roman Catholic nuns, in Kolkata, India. Her work transcended geopolitical borders and she encompassed the whole of humanity in her healing embrace. The Missionaries of Charity grew to help the poor, dying, orphans, lepers, and AIDS sufferers in more than 100 countries. Mother Teresas selfless effort to help those in need has caused many to regard her as a model humanitarian.
Nelson Mandela was the Former President of South Africa and Nobel Peace Laureate a leader who dedicated his life to the antiapartheid struggle, democracy and equality. This activist dedicated his life to dismantling racism—and went from being the world’s most famous political prisoner to South Africa’s first Black president. Nelson Mandela was awarded Indias highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna in 1990 for his role in the antiapartheid movement.
Dhondo Keshav Karve was an eminent Indian social reformer and educator who championed the cause of women education and remarriage of Hindu widows. He was popularly called ‘Maharshi’ which means ‘a great sage’. Continuing with his effort for helping widows, Maharishi Karve even founded an educational institution, Hindu Widows Home, in 1896.
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was first Vice President of India and second President of India. He was also a philosopher and introduced the thinking of western idealist philosophers into Indian thought. He was a famous teacher and his birthday is celebrated as Teachers Day in India.
Bhagwan Das laid the groundwork for future India. He believed that education is the key to the countrys overall development. A popularfigure and Indian theosophist, Bhagwan Das was the cofounder of Mahatma Kashi Vidyapeeth. He was awarded with Bharat Ratna in 1955 for his work in Education
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was an Indian educationist and politician notable for his role in the Indian independence movement. He was respectfully addressed as Mahamana’ Malaviya is most remembered as the founder of Banaras Hindu University BHU at Varanasi in 1916. He took part in numerous activities like the freedom struggle movements, promotion of industries, the economic and social development of the country, education, religion, social service, and many other issues of national importance throughout his life. He was a great educationist, pioneer, an eloquent rhetorician, and a national leader.
Govind Ballabh Pant is remembered as one of the country’s most prominent freedom fighters and an administrator who played a key role in shaping modern India. Alongside Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabh Bhai Patel, Pant was a key figure in the movement for Indias Independence and later a pivotal figure in the Indian Government. Right from protesting the zamindari system to passing the Hindu Code Bill. A key player in the drafting of the Constitution, he served as India’s home minister from 1955 to 1961.
Aruna Asaf Ali was an Indian educator, political activist, and publisher. An active participant in the Indian independence movement, she is widely remembered for hoisting the Indian National flag at the Gowalia Tank maidan, Bombay during a Quit India Movement in 1942, giving the movement one of it’s most longlasting image. She is known as the ‘Grand Old Lady of Indian Independence’ for her role in the freedom struggle.
Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, popularly known as Rajaji, was independent India’s first Indian Governor General also the last one. A loyalist to Mahatma Gandhi, who called CR his conscious keeper.Rajagopalachari was a towering personality in the modern Indian politics.
A freedom fighter, academic, Congressman, humanitarian, journalist, lawyer and the only twoterm President in India’s history, Prasad’s multifaceted expertise made him “a man amongst men” as Mahatma Gandhi called him. He was one of those passionate individuals who gave up a lucrative profession to pursue a greater goal of attaining freedom for the Motherland. He took up the helms of designing the Constitution of the nascent nation by heading up the Constituent Assembly postindependence.
Zakir Husain Khan is one of the brightest and most respected names when it comes to Indian politics. A strong supporter of secularism, he was the first Muslim President of India. In an illustrious career, he was also the second Vice President of India from 1962 to 1967. He was the cofounder of Jamia Milia Islamia, which was a prominent participant in the Indian freedom struggle. Not just a politician, but Husain was an economist as well.He was a renowned educationist and intellectual and his contribution in the development of modern India through education is invaluable.
Varahagiri Venkata Giri, popularly known as V. V. Giri served the country as the 4th President of India. He is fondly remembered for his contribution to the Indian freedom struggle and for raising his voice for labour rights and social equality. A leading freedom fighter, veteran labour leader, able statesman and great parliamentarian, Varahagiri Venkata Giri dedicated his life to the nation.
Former Indian cricket captain Sachin Tendulkar is arguably the greatest batsman to have played the sport. The Master Blaster is widely regarded as the ‘God of Cricket’. Tendulkar, who is the highest runscorer in Tests as well as ODIs, was known for his impeccable batting technique. He created a plethora of records in his glorious 24year career. For more than two decades, Tendulkar remained the backbone of the Indian cricket team and the face and pride of cricket in India.
Amartya Sen is a muchadmired, award winning economist, writer and philosopher. A voice of the poor and malnourished, tirelessly engrossed in the problems of the society’s poorest people, he has devised practical solutions to prevent food shortage and starvation. This Nobel laureate has helped create the United Nations Human Development Index. Amartya Sen, the Indian economist who is best known for his work on the causes of famine was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998 for his contributions to economics and social choice theory.
Dr. P. V. Kane 1880–1972 is not just fascinating for his ability to achieve the pinnacle of success as an academician and lawyer but also for the fact that his contribution in the field of Indology has spurred the momentum of research that is now being carried on by those who have followed in his footsteps. Pandurang Vaman Kane, P V Kane was one of the greatest Sanskrit scholars of the 20th century. He was not only deeply immersed in his own tradition but was also thoroughly aware of the Western tradition.
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi is touted as one of the greatest vocalists of all time having profoundly contributed to the Indian classical music field for more than four decades. He was considered as the leading light of the Kirana gharana. Bhimsen Joshi is renowned for his unique style and mastery over ragas. He is remembered as the singer of ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’, but Bhimsen was one of India’s leading Khyal vocalists.
No name signals Indian classical music to the world more than Ravi Shankar’s. The sitar maestro not only took Hindustani music to the international arena but also influenced a glittering array of celebrity artists—from George Harrison of The Beatles to jazz legend John Coltrane and Western classical violinist Yehudi Menuhin. In a career that spanned decades, Ravi Shankar singlehandedly introduced Western audiences to the centuriesold classical tradition of Indian Ragas.
Lal Bahadur Shastri was man with high integrity, competence, a downtoearth and humble nature who worked for more than 30 years in the country. Shastris prime ministership saw India ensuring respect for the farmer and the soldier through his iconic slogan, Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan. In a brief and yet eventful tenure of 19 months, Shastri resolved some of the most contentious problems that the country faced.
The life of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, also known as Bacha Khan and Frontier Gandhi, presents one of the most scintillating examples of achieving a rare community transition from violence as a cult to the path of peace and love as the value of total commitment. His historic movement, Khudai Khidmatgar, was launched to overcome poverty and banish the British from India.
Acharya Vinoba Bhave was a nonviolence activist, freedom activist, social reformer and spiritual teacher. An avid follower of Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba upheld his doctrines of nonviolence and equality. He dedicated his life to serve the poor and the downtrodden, and stood up for their rights. Most of his adult life he led an ascetic style of existence centered on spiritual beliefs of right and wrong. He is best known for his Bhoodan Movement Gift of the Land.
Vallabhbhai Patel was an Indian barrister, statesman and a prominent leader of the Indian Independence movement. Popularly known as Sardar Patel and The Ironman of India, he was the first Deputy Prime Minister and the first Home Minister of independent India. Sardar Patel’s contribution in integrating 565 princely states into a newly independent India is unforgettable. He received the title of Sardar leader/Chief after successfully leading the agitation of the farmers of Bardoli.
Indias first and longest serving Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, was a man of vision. Having participated in the long struggle for freedom from the British, Nehru, fondly called Pandit Nehru, was a firm believer in nation building, as he understood that the young Indian nation had a tryst with destiny. He was considered as a central warrior in Indian Politics before independence as well as after independence. Pandit Nehru is known as the architect of modern India. Pandit Nehru or Chacha Nehru as he was affectionately called was a nationalist leader, social democrat, author, and humanist.
A pioneering social reformer, jurist, economist, author, polyglot orator, a scholar of comparative religions, and thinker Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, the principal architect of the Indian Constitution and independent India’s first law minister, was a multifaceted man. Babasaheb braved the walls of prejudice and caste discrimination in early 20th century India to emerge as an unflinching crusader against the inequities of caste system and socioeconomic deprivation that afflicted millions of Indians.
Purushottam Das Tandon, a fighter for Indias freedom and for the cause of peasants. Tandon was inspired by the nationalists such as Gokhale and Tilak. Tandon gave up his legal practice and plunged into the freedom movement. As an educationist, Tandon worked hard to spread adult education. Rajarshi—fondly called by Mahatma Gandhi—Purushottam Das Tandon, appeared on the Indian horizon during the Gandhian era, and occupied a significant position in the national history of India.
Marudhur Gopalan Ramachandran also popularly known as M.G.R., was an Indian politician, actor, philanthropist and filmmaker who served as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu from 1977 till his death in 1987. He was the founder of AIADMK. MGR was an imminent actor, producer and politician of India. Acting and politics were a major part of MGRs life since times immemorial. M. G Ramachandran is the first film personality of India to occupy the chair of the Chief Minister of a state in the country.
The legendary shehnai player, Ustad Bismillah Khan was one of Indias most celebrated classical musicians. Bismillah Khan, India’s most famous shehnai player who was almost solely responsible for elevating the status of the shehnai from a humble musical instrument to a connoisseur’s delight. While the shehnai had long held importance as a folk instrument played primarily schooled in traditional ceremonies, Khan is credited with elevating its status and bringing it to the world concert stage.
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi was one of the most wellknown personalities in Indian politics, a great stateswoman and the first and, to date, the only female Prime Minister of India.
Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi was a globally renowned exponent of Carnatic music. To her millions of fans, her voice was ethereal and mesmerizing. Nicknamed M. S., she was a true pioneer and frontrunner of women’s empowerment. Though she is famous as an exponent of Carnatic music, her expertise in Hindustani classical music was not short of brilliance. Subbulakshmi forayed into the field of acting as well.
Lata Mangeshkar, also known as the Nightingale of India, was one of the most versatile singers in the Indian film industry. Blessed with beautiful voice, she is the most well known Indian vocalist. Highly versatile, she has sung in more than 20 languages. She is widely considered to have been one of the greatest and most influential singers in India. Her contribution to the Indian music industry in a career spanning eight decades.
Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao or C N R Rao, as he is better known, is acclaimed as a stalwart in the field of science. Prof. Rao is one of the world’s foremost solidstate and materials chemists. He has made prolific and sustained contributions to the development of the field over five decades. . He is the first Indian scientist to cross the H index of 100 an authorlevel metric that attempts to measure both the productivity and citation impact of the publications of a scientist.
Sri M Visvesvaraya, popularly referred to as Sir MV, was an Indian engineer par excellence, statesman, visionary, a staunch votary of industrialization, education, women empowerment and continues to be an inspiration for a whole nation of engineers. His birth anniversary, September 15th is celebrated as Engineering Day. M Visvesvaraya is considered one of the foremost nationbuilders, creating marvels upon which modern India was built.
Chidambaram Subramaniam was a popular politician and freedom fighter. His contribution is considered important in making India selfsufficient in food production. He is also known as ‘the architect of Green Revolution’. He had held the responsibility of important ministries like Finance, Agriculture, Defense and Food at the Centre.
Chandikadas Amritrao Deshmukh, better known as Nanaji Deshmukh 11 October 1916 – 27 February 2010, was a social reformer and politician from India. He worked in the fields of education, health, and rural selfreliance. As an intellectual, Nanaji started the first Rural University in India. He pioneered the conflictfree society through Litigation free villages and made the villagers partners in their development. A political activist who crafted one of the largest prodemocracy movements in Independent India that led to the restoration of democracy in India
Educationist, freedom fighter, politician and journalist — Maulana Abul Kalam Azad donned many hats in his more than fourdecadelong public life. An intellectual par excellence, he left behind a lasting legacy in the field of India’s education. He was a prominent political leader of the Indian National Congress and was elected as Congress President in 1923 and 1940. Azad was the first education minister of independent India.
Gulzarilal Nanda, known for his stint at the office of the Prime Minister of India for interim periods on two occasions, was a politician and an economist held in high regard all over the world. What set him apart from almost all the freedom fighters who held high offices in independent India was his complete freedom from material desire. He is one of those extraordinary leaders of our country who had devoted all his lifetime in the service of the people especially in fighting corruption and social evils prevailing in society.
Kumarasami Kamaraj Nadar devoted his entire life to serving the country’s people. K Kamaraj is widely known for his visionary thinking on the development of education, industries and irrigation in India. He has been the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu thrice. Fondly, he is also known as the first Kingmaker of independent India.
BC Roy, as he was popularly known, was a legendary physician, a distinguished Congress leader, an educationist and a philanthropist. BC Roy is credited to have transformed West Bengal, a ‘problematic state’, into a prosperous one.India celebrates 1 July as National Doctors’ Day in honour of Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, who was not only a physician himself, but a philanthropist, educationist and social worker, who also served as Chief Minister of West Bengal for 14 years.
Gopinath Bordoloi was a visionary leader with an unwavering dedication and resolve to fight injustice in all its forms. He is popularly known as Lokapriya meaning, loved by all among the people of Assam.It was because of Gopinath Bordoloi’s firm commitment to the cause of protecting the state of Assam and its culture that chiefly accounted for Assam’s eventual integration as a fullfledged state with the Union of India. Gopinath Bordoloi was a politician and Indian independence activist who served as the first Chief Minister of Assam. He had also served as Chief Minister of undivided Assam prior to independence.
Few politicians in the history of modern India have donned as many hats as former President Pranab Mukherjee. From starting out as a Rajya Sabha member in his early political days in 1969 to later holding different ministerial portfolios like defence, finance, and external affairs. A powerful orator and scholar, Shri Mukherjee’s intellectual and political prowess as well as remarkable knowledge of international relations, financial affairs and parliamentary process are widely admired.
Morarji Ranchhodji Desai was an Indian independence activist and politician who served as the 4th Prime Minister of India, leading the government formed by the Janata Party. During his long career in politics, he held many important posts in government such as Chief Minister of Bombay State, Home Minister, Finance Minister and 2nd Deputy Prime Minister of India.
Socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan was a veteran freedom fighter whom people respectfully called ‘Lok Nayak’ which means people’s hero. Popularly known as JP, Narayan joined politics to help the downtrodden and helpless people and not for power. He is remembered for leading the mid1970s opposition against Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, for whose overthrow he had called for a total revolution
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